Dynamics of skin microbiota in shoulder surgery infections

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Post-surgical infections arise due to various contributing factors. Most important is the presence of potential pathogenic microorganisms in the skin complemented by the patient´s health status. Cutibacterium acnes is commonly present in the pilosebaceous glands and hair follicle funnels in human skin. After surgical intervention, these highly prevalent, slow-growing bacteria can be found in the deeper tissues and in proximity of implants. C. acnes is frequently implicated in post-surgical infections, often resulting in the need for revision surgery. This review summarizes the current understanding of microbial dynamics in shoulder surgical infections. In particular, we shed light on the contribution of C. acnes to post-surgical shoulder infections as well as their colonization and immune-modulatory potential. Despite being persistently found in post-surgical tissues, C. acnes is often underestimated as a causative organism due to its slow growth and the inefficient detection methods. We discuss the role of the skin environment constituted by microbial composition and host cellular status in influencing C. acnes recolonization potential. Future mapping of the individual skin microbiome in shoulder surgery patients using advanced molecular methods would be a useful approach for determining the risk of post-operative infections.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)665-674
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Scandinavian Societies for Medical Microbiology and Pathology

    Research areas

  • Cutibacterium acnes, post-operational infection, Shoulder surgery infection, skin microbiology, surgical site infection

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